Black Friday a Real Door-Buster at SoHo Hollister as Early Crowd Breaks In
The NYPD confirmed it was investigating a midnight burglary at the 600 Broadway branch, near Houston Street.
Hollister had promoted a Black Friday midnight opening with hundreds of hot shirtless guys and steep discounts at its chain stores, which got the attention of several blogs, but a Hollister employee at the SoHo branch said hers was not one of the company's so-called "chain" stores, and therefore was not slated to open until 10 a.m.
Witnesses said a large crowd gathered outside Hollister SoHo in anticipation of a midnight Black Friday opening, expecting bargains on items such as fur-lined hoodies and California-inspired beachwear.
According to a nearby street vendor who said he saw chaos, roughly 20 teens grew impatient when the store didn't open at midnight and rushed the doors, breaking in and grabbing as much clothing as they could.
The vendor, who declined to give his name, said they quickly ran to the nearby Broadway-Lafayette subway station and got away.
One of the store's security guards confirmed that customers had forced their way into the store.
"That's exactly what happened," said the guard, who declined to give his name.
There was no apparent damage to the door or the outside of the store.
Hollister's other Manhattan store, at 668 Fifth Ave., was slated to open at 9 a.m. on Black Friday. According to the chain's website, only selected stores outside Manhattan were scheduled to open at midnight.
A spokesperson for Abercrombie & Fitch, which owns Hollister, did not immediately respond for comment.
Martin Elkman, 22, had just purchased a range of clothes from the store, and said the deals at Hollister were good, but not worth being locked up for.
"I mean, they're just clothes," he said. "Why would you go to [juvenile detention] for a T-shirt? That's just dumb."